Astbury Conversation to uncover the fascinating world of macromolecules

The Astbury Conversation – the University of Leeds’ biennial flagship event for structural molecular biology – is back for 2024.

The event, which will take place on 8-9 April at the University of Leeds, brings people from across the globe together to discover, explore and inspire ideas whilst showcasing the latest innovations making waves in molecular biology.

This year’s theme is ‘Illuminating Life’, which will shine a light on the hidden world of macromolecules.

Delegates can expect to network with over 250 researchers, hear from a range of outstanding speakers – including multi-award-winner Professor Xiaowei Zhuang – and participate in lively poster sessions.

Since its inception in 2016, the Astbury Conversation has drawn prominent speakers from around the world, including three Nobel Prize winners.

Neil Ranson, Professor of Structural Biology and Director of the Astbury Centre, said:

“Next year, the Astbury Conversation will return even bigger and better than before. The programme is packed with engaging speakers, lively discussions and opportunities to meet colleagues, both past and present.

It will be a melting pot of ideas, as academics come together to discuss exciting science, share the latest insights, and inspire new ways of thinking.

For the very first time, the Astbury Conversation will also take to the road, hosting a range of fun and interactive sessions at local high schools in the run up to the event.

Dr Stephen Muench, Deputy Director of the Astbury Centre, said: “At the Astbury Centre, we’re passionate about inspiring the next generation of scientists as they will be the leading force of future discoveries.

The Astbury Roadshow will give local schools the opportunity to step inside the wonderful world of molecular biology and learn the power of the earth’s very tiniest molecules.

"Watch this space for further details!"

Programme highlights:

Public lecture: Professor Xiaowei Zhuang

Professor Xiaowei Zhuang develops pioneering imaging methods to reveal the molecular mechanisms of cellular function. Inventions from her lab, such as the super-resolution imaging method known as stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) and the single-cell transcriptome imaging method known as multiplexed error-robust fluorescence in situ hybridization (MERFISH), allow imaging of cells and tissues with single-molecule sensitivity, nanometer-scale resolution, and genomic-scale throughput.

Zhuang and her team apply these methods to investigate an array of biological questions pertaining to molecular structures in cells, chromatin in the nucleus, regulation of gene expression, and the organization of distinct cell types in tissues.

Poster session: An opportunity for academics to display their research and network with potential collaborators

Astbury Roadshow: A series of interactive engagement events at local high schools

Astbury Conversation is for anyone with an interest in the world of molecular biology, biophysics and medicinal chemistry, including students, academics, researchers, and businesses. 

View the full programme and register online.

Astbury Conversation 2024 is proudly sponsored by Thermo Fisher, Zeiss, Nikon UK, Stratech and Vector Builder